Sunday, 15 December 2013
Time flies here at Port Lockroy. Days are so packed, it feels as though one is many. Our concept of the fourth dimension is made more complicated with the permanent daylight that floods through our windows even at 1, 2 or 3 am. If it weren't for the ships and their schedules, it would be very easy to lose oneself entirely in PLT - Port Lockroy Time. But thankfully, we have a rough idea of the tides (thank you Alan Carroll for sending them through to us) as well as the ships to keep us in check. And yes, the ships are back! Thankfully, a northerly wind came about and drove the ice out of the bay, allowing visitors back in.
Dancer and Prancer
The annoying sheathbills (they kept me awake again last night so have been demoted from a place of goodwill in my mind for today at least) that hang outside our living room window have now been named Dancer and Prancer after Sarah opened the advent calendar yesterday and read a verse from T'was The Night Before Christmas which struck a chord, likening sheathbills to reindeer:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
We had a top view of a leopard seal this afternoon as it swam just off Boogie Island (one of two large rocky outcrops that are positioned off Goudier). We didn't see any penguins being consumed, although there were a few brave souls flying through the water fairly close by. The large reptilian-esque head with flaring nostrils pushed its way through the surface of the water and the beast dived before reappearing 20 or so metres away repeatedly for about half an hour. We were told by staff of L'Astral, who were visiting us at the time, that the seal came within 3 metres of the landing site. Typically, I was looking out in a different direction at that time but my own viewing experience was terrific and I hope for more as the season progresses.
Filming going ok, although the penguins are pretty much just sitting on their eggs now. I am waiting for skua and sheathbill activity to pick up - it is starting to as I guess they work out which parents-to-be are more likely to relinquish an easy meal in the form of their eggs. We have had a few snowy days, which has hampered my camera time slightly - am being super-cautious with Andrew's camera!!